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Eatontown Personal Injury Law Blog

Wearable tech has workplace safety applications

Connected technology created by the Internet of Things has emerged as an important tool to help workers prevent injuries or get help when accidents happen. Many workers in New Jersey operate alone, and small wearable tags, such as a Wearsafe tag, can give workers an easy one-touch way to contact an employer or emergency contact if they feel threatened or get hurt. A device like this can provide a person's location and allow for group chat.

Other companies have developed worker applications that can be used on smartphones. Employers can use the geolocalization technology loaded in the smartphone to customize settings for workers' specific safety concerns. Wearable technology connected through the internet can also collect data about a worker's actions and environment. Employers could monitor this data to gain insights about worker behavior and potential safety problems. Sensors attached to a worker might alert a person to malfunctioning equipment in a manufacturing setting and potentially prevent an accident.

Why "never events" and surgical errors occur

Many New Jersey patients have probably heard about medical cases gone wrong where patients had the wrong parts of their bodies removed or the wrong surgery performed. While these types of errors known as "never events" are rare, they can and do occur.

It is estimated that these errors occur in about 1 of every 112,000 surgical procedures. This essentially means that a hospital may only have one "never event" occur in every 5 to 10 years. However, this estimate only considers "never events" that occur in surgical operating rooms. When errors that occur in other settings such as ambulances are taken into account, the rate at which "never events" occur may actually be much higher.

Important tips for improving workplace safety

Business owners in New Jersey, especially those faced with fast-paced work environments, probably know how easy it can be to become nonchalant about the risks that lurk behind everyday actions. When inattentiveness is combined with poor safety training and hazard prevention, however, workplace injuries become more common. For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported that 2,000 eye injuries occur every day in workplaces.

There are five good tips that business owners and site managers should take to heart if they want to turn this situation around. The most important is strong leadership in forming a safety culture. Owners should also take control and find out what workers know about federal safety guidelines and corporate policies. This could take the form of a survey.

Jobsite safety can improve with proactive steps

New Jersey residents who work in the construction industry may be interested to know that taking certain proactive steps can improve workplace safety by 670 percent. This is according to the Associated Builders and Contractors.

The ABC released its Safety Performance Report for 2018 that stated not only can the use of organization's Safety Performance Evaluation Process by companies make a job site up to 670 percent safer, but it can also lower the number of reportable safety occurrences by up to 85 percent.

Portable brain scanner provides early detection possibilities

A new method to diagnose and treat traumatic brain injury is quickly approaching and may soon be available for patients in New Jersey. As traumatic brain injury is responsible for nearly 2,500 deaths in the U.S. annually and over 35,000 hospitalizations, the new diagnostic appliance is welcomed in the medical community.

The device uses infrared waves to scan the brain for injury. Referred to as Near Infrared Spectroscopy, or NIRS, the scope can produce a reasonable image of the outer portion of the brain and measure brain activity. As an optical scanner, it is non-invasive and requires no incision into the skull; in addition, infrared waves have no side effects.

Diagnostic mistakes leading cause of malpractice claims

Each year, some New Jersey residents are seriously injured because of medical errors that are made when they go to hospitals or to their doctors' offices for care. One of the most frequently occurring types is diagnostic mistakes.

According to a medical malpractice insurance provider, diagnostic errors were the leading cause of claims for medical malpractice between 2013 and 2017. the insurer found that 33 percent of the malpractice claims were made based on diagnostic mistakes. The second-most common form of medical malpractice was surgical errors at 24 percent of the claims. Medical management errors came in third at 14 percent.

2nd medical opinions could reduce misdiagnoses and improve care

The high rate of misdiagnoses does not support the confidence that many people in New Jersey have in their medical providers. A Gallup Poll from 2010 showed that 70 percent of Americans did not feel inclined to get second opinions for their medical diagnoses. However, as many as one-third of diagnoses could be wrong or partially wrong according to the executive vice president of Advance Medical.

Among people who seek second opinions about their medical problems, a study conducted by the Mayo Clinic found that 88 percent of them received a new or updated diagnosis. For people facing serious illnesses, accurate diagnoses could lead to more effective treatments at earlier stages of disease. Time lost because of a misdiagnosis could raise the costs of treatment.

What New Jersey residents should know about immunotherapy

Chemotherapy is not the only option for treating cancer. Immunotherapy is an upcoming form of treatment where a drug enhances the immune system so that it attacks rapidly dividing cancer cells. As it is still in the developmental stage, its effects cannot be properly measured, and its side effects are often misdiagnosed.

Immunotherapy patients normally feel like they are fighting the flu with symptoms like fever, nausea and fatigue among the most common side effects. Aches and pains may develop in random areas, making a correct diagnosis difficult. Patients may also experience dry mouth, a loss of appetite and a rash where they were injected. This would be due to an allergic reaction to a new drug.

Government drops appeal on malpractice verdict

The United States government has decided to drop the appeal of a $42 million judgment in favor of the parents of a young boy who was disabled during childbirth. According to the lawsuit, a doctor at a government-backed hospital caused traumatic brain injuries through the negligent use of forceps during the delivery. Devastating injuries similar to the ones in this case can happen anywhere in New Jersey or across the United States.

The appeal followed a verdict from a six-day trial in 2016 in which the child's parents testified how the doctor used the forceps with such force that it caused skull fractures, brain bleeding and brain damage. This occurred in the absence of any medical emergency given that both mother and child weren't in distress at the time. The court also heard testimony that the doctor was "straining, red-faced and sweaty" when attempting to extract the baby despite the fact that the mother's vital signs were normal and she had only just begun trying to push.

Infections may cause symptoms that mimic the flu

A potentially deadly condition called necrotizing fasciitis may have symptoms that are similar to the flu. New Jersey residents with the condition may notice that they are fatigued, have the chills or are nauseous. They may also notice that they have pain in certain parts of their body where there is only a minor wound, and the skin may turn red or purple at the infection site.

In many cases, bacteria such as group A strep or Clostridium can spread through the body at a quick pace. It may only be hours between the time an infection occurs and a person starts to notice symptoms. The CDC says that the condition may be treated either with antibiotics or with surgery. There is a 27 percent mortality rate for those who contract necrotizing fasciitis, according to the CDC.

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